Maine police program scares kids straight by phoning home

| Thursday, July 21, 2005

Think back to your teenage years – was thought of a call to your parents a punishment worse than death? If so, the Maine State Police might be onto something.

As part of SAFEGuard, a statewide program that began Wednesday, July 20, parents of children under the age of 18 will be notified if their child is pulled over for a traffic violation.

According to police officials, the unique program is a joint parent-law enforcement effort designed to cut down on the number of teen fatalities in the state.

“That phone call may be the most important call a police officer ever makes,” Maj. Randy Nichols, Maine State Police officer, told the Bangor Daily News. “We need to make a special effort to save our youngest and most inexperienced drivers. Instead of being the first to know, parents are often the last to know.”

In 2004, 34 teens were involved in fatal accidents in Maine, the Daily News reported, a number police want to drastically lower.

Even the slogan for the program is designed to scare kids straight: “Your parents will be the first to know.”

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